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License to Dream: A Rose is Rose Collection
posted May 3, 2006

Creators: Pat Brady
Publishing Information: Andrews McMeel, $9.95
Ordering Numbers: 0836226645 (ISBN)

Pat Brady -- a guy, if you were guessing; at least Brady's referred to as "he" by Scott Adams in an article I've read -- is obviously a talented artist. In his Rose is Rose strip, he makes great use of elaborately illustrated dream sequences, stylish vertical panels or narrative tricks, and lushly-drawn fantasy sequences. He's one of the few artists with a distinctive style that makes you look at the strip for the art alone.

I still can't read the strip. A domestic comedy of sorts surrounding Rose Gumbo (yechh!), husband Jim, and child Pasquale (there are about 10 minor characters as well), the strip is so saccharine sweet it makes the characters in For Better or For Worse look like a family in a Mike Leigh movie. Most of the strips depend on Brady's stylish illustration of a heartwarming, life-affirming point, but the fact that the characters are all so cute is why the strip remains static. Another thing: sometimes the illustrations detract from the narrative progression in the strip, particularly those that turn the strip on its side or at an angle for no real reason other than to aid Brady's visual presentation.

This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.